The Interesting Link Between One’s Emotions and One’s Game

Ever wondered what’s the typical emotion that leads to a superb game? One’s performance can be heavily affected by their emotions and if not kept in check, can even come to destroy one’s career. This blog aims at exploring how emotions and mood can affect your sports performance and what to do if some emotions arise that negatively affect your game.

Why should you imbue positive emotions in your game?

Positive emotions have been proven to be one of the best mental aspects to put in your game. Ever heard of happy hormones? Joy and excitement have a role in the secretion of hormones like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones greatly help improve concentration and decision-making, things that are crucial for a great performance in any sport. Notable effects like running, coordination and linking with teammates, and concentration of one’s energy all come with positive emotions. 

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You’ve probably watched shows like “Kuroko no Basuke” which show that anger and dissatisfaction take an athlete’s game to another level and possibly to the zone. There is a belief that anger can be channeled into powerful athletic capabilities. Very rarely will a sour mood improve your performance, and if it does, it will only be in the short term. In the long run, noticeable effects like slip-ups and failure in focus, speed, and decision-making will be observed. 

REMEMBER: Anger is different from motivation. Motivation is good and should drive you to your goals. Anger will most likely come from the non-sport side of a game and can cloud your judgment.

Now you know that a good mood sets your stats higher, but how can you bring the mood alight? There are times where there wouldn’t be much to be happy about in the field. We have you covered and here are 3 ways to have a smile on your face during competition time.

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  • MUSIC: Listening to music before a game or during a break can get your mood up. Music can be a way to get motivated, boost confidence, and bring a calm mind necessary for critical decision-making in a game. A study on regular athletes suggested an 18% increase in running when listening to music. The study also shows music that matches with an athletes’ stride, helps increase performance. Most athletes have the same music listening routine before games and this comes to show how important music can be. Cristiano Ronaldo has an hour pre-game routine to get him as relaxed as possible and favors romantic tunes and Brazilian music. Mind the music you listen to though as simple music with a steady beat tends to bide well with intense sports. If you just had a good game, get the volume up and probably get some Lil Uzi Vert in your routine to get your confidence running. 

  • DEEP BREATHS: Sometimes taking deep breaths before a game is all you need to keep your mood in check. If it's fear you have, controlled breathing helps reduce the built-up psychological pressure and keep the heartbeat in check, things that may overwhelm some athletes at times. Controlled breathing can also calm people down, something that an athlete should be in the field. Find a comfortable position and tune the rhythm of your breath for 5-7 minutes. Deep inhales through the nostrils, holding the breath for a while, and deep exhales through the mouth has been shown to divert the mind’s attention from thoughts and bodily sensations into calmness. 

  • DON’T RISK IT: It may come at a time where the timing of a game is off and you just had a bad experience or received bad news like losing a loved one. Playing through the pain won’t do any good to your performance. Your adrenaline rush will just result in difficulty in coordination and a fight with other athletes might easily break out. What to do then- Ask for some time out especially if it's a team sport you are playing. Some time off to get your mood straight might be the best bet even if it means not taking part in the game.


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Once in a while, you’d hear the coach say, “go there and enjoy yourselves, play with a smile on your face.” This wasn’t the case for Alvaro Morata at Chelsea. Imagine playing for a club team, where every mistake you make, gets criticized tenfold. Morata went to Chelsea for a large paycheck and many fans expected him to live up to their expectations. Initially, he started well, however, Morata’s performance began to dip and it was evident that he was being affected by the insane amount of stress and anxiety he dealt with due to the fan base. Every goal he missed and every poor first touch he made added to the flaws the community constantly pointed out which created even more pressure on him. This decreased the quality of his performance even more. All this pressure and emotions eventually made him look for another club to play for. Eventually, Morata switched to Juventus, and now he plays with a smile and with the support from his fans. This is an example that shows how our emotions bring out the best, or worst, of our abilities. 

Works Cited

aes5559. “Does Listening to Music Help Athletes in Their Performance? | SiOWfa15: Science in Our World: Certainty and Controversy.”, 12 Dec. 2015,

Eric_McCoy. “Alvaro Morata and the Unenviable Plight of the Introspective Footballer.” We Ain’t Got No History, 22 Jan. 2018,

Mejia, Zameena. “How Cristiano Ronaldo’s Game Day Routine Sets Him up to Win.” CNBC, 20 June 2018,

“Mindful Breathing (Greater Good in Action).”, 

Moller, Gary. “How Your Mood Can Affect Your Sports Performance.” STACK, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Robinson, James. “What Music Do Footballers Listen to Before, during and after a Game?” Dream Team FC, 28 Oct. 2016,


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